NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) has recently selected Jose Carlos Montes as its new Chief Executive Officer, after former CEO Mario Vargas resigned more than a year ago due to allegations of sexual harassment towards his employees.
Montes was unanimously selected over more than 150 nationwide applicants following an extensive 9-month applicant review that was led by former PRAB Acting CEO, Dr. John Brothers, and the organization’s Board of Directors.
PRAB is confident that Montes will lead the organization to continue to fulfill their mission: “To provide services that improve the quality of life of the low income population of central New Jersey in a bilingual and bicultural setting, and to continue our historic role as advocates for the Latino Community.”
Montes’ prior experience and upbeat energy is what set him a part from the rest of the applicants, according to a press release from PRAB.
Montes is a Yale University and Alliance Theological Seminary graduate, with experience leading efforts in organizations such as the Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural Affairs, the Latino Pastoral Action Center, and ASPIRA of New York. He also served as a Program Officer with the Edward Hazen Foundation.
“The Board was impressed not only by Jose’s expertise, but also by his commitment to community change and to serving those in need,” Blanquita Valenti, Chairwoman of Board of Directions and one of the founders of PRAB, says about her fellow colleague.
Valenti, a former City Councilwoman, also serves on the Middlesex Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Coming out of a controversy and into new leadership can be challenging for an organization, especially one with strong community ties such as PRAB, but organization leaders remain optimistic about the direction that Montes will take the organization.
“Turning over an organization is a bit of an emotional experience, but when you find someone like Jose, it makes the process a lot easier,” stated Dr. Brothers.
“Jose’s energy, talent, experience and passion for our mission are hard to come by, and we’re extremely fortunate to have him leading PRAB as our next CEO.”
Montes is looking forward to fulfilling his new role within PRAB and furthering its reputation as a reputable community service non-profit organization.
“I am honored to have been chosen to serve as the next Chief Executive Officer of PRAB," said Montes.
"I look forward to working with such a dedicated and talented team to learn how best we can serve our community and realize our full potential. Now is an exciting time for PRAB, and I’m please to help continue to grow this vibrant and dynamic agency across all platforms to maintain and grow PRAB as a household name and industry leader."